Credit unions are not-for-profit member-owned financial cooperatives that offer a full range of financial products and services. Credit unions serve a common field of membership based on characteristics like a geographical area, employee groups, or membership in an organization. Due to their special mission to serve consumers, credit unions are exempt from paying federal tax. Credit union members see earnings as higher savings returns, lower loan rates and lower, fewer fees.
In the United States, there are over 110 million credit union members, meaning that nearly one-third of all Americans use a credit union for financial services.
Examples of Credit Unions
UW Credit Union is a federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of consumer financial services. UW Credit Union serves the needs of more than 250,000 members, from lending and savings to checking and investments, through world-class technology systems, and a network of 26 branch locations. UW Credit Union operates as a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative serving University of Wisconsin communities in the Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Whitewater, and La Crosse areas.
Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now serves over 8 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, veterans, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 18,000 and has a global network of 328 branches.
Cooperation among Cooperatives: Quantifying the Business Case for Credit Unions and Other Cooperatives. Filene Research Institute, 2015.
Model Law for Credit Unions. WOCCU, 2015.
Co-op Power. Credit Union Magazine, January 2012.